Dear readers, within Music Psychology series, we would like to offer you a view at seemingly obvious topics within a music world from a different perspective. Behavior on music festivals, music sentiment, personal changes in the band or image of an artist is often taken as something natural, but from a perspective of a music therapist, the essence of these issues is much deeper. My guest will be for a number of the upcoming episodes respected music therapist and a member of the board of Music Therapy Association of the Czech Republic (CZMTA) PaedDr. Lubomír Holzer.
Photos credit: xMartinezz Photographyx
Originally came out in 2015/02 issue of Czech magazine Muzikus.
For the start, please give us an idea, about your relationship to music.
My parents sent me in a very early age to violin lessons. I managed to fake visiting them for about six months and then my cover was blown away. My father asked me if I want to go to violin classes and I declined. At the beginning of my eighth class in an elementary school, I went to music school to apply for guitar lessons. However, they convinced me to try trombone and I stayed with it for many years. In 1986 I became a professional as a jazz musician and I started playing with Kontraband formed by Milan Svoboda. I went through many genres ranging from jazz (Kontraband, OPSO, Znamení Dechu), through ethno music (Shamanic orchestra), old music (Kvinterna, Jagabab) and many more. I even had a short opera phase. With Martin Kumžák we wrote an opera Božská Komedie (The Divine Comedy). More than twenty years ago I started thinking about influences of music on a human being. My primary interest turned into a music therapy, where I am involved till today. Profession of a music therapist naturally includes deep research of music influence on a human.
EP01 – Music Festivals
Is it natural for someone to “switch” into a different mode on a festival and act differently than in a real life? People are having a drink, meeting new people, everybody dives thanks to music into a different world and introvert business type people can switch into a moshing animal. Let say on Czech festival Brutal Assault I remember seeing multiple times top level politician from Czech democratic party ODS. He simply took off “his uniform”, put on a festival t-shirt and same as doctors, bakers or street workers he got lost in the crowd.
Festivals and music shows are an ideal environment for people having subconscious desire to run away from daily stereotypes and stress. Leave their role, turn-off, take a break and for a moment forget about daily troubles – these are some of the many reasons, which bring us to big music events, which can ensure high level of anonymity and at the same time unique harmony within the group of people in the very similar state of mind. Everyone has inside them a small hidden revolutionary, who more or less disagrees with social events of a global culture. Environment of festivals allows us to release our hidden and masked „little revolutionary“ from internal prison and give him a certain level of freedom. A mass of anonymous people allows this sort of behavior. Festival is an ideal environment for someone who has a need to let off the steam, release long-term gathered emotions, step away from established stereotypes and simply go and have fun. It is incredibly enriching to release an euphoria of an unusual type and feel the energy of the crowd around you.
Festivals and music shows are an ideal environment for people having subconscious desire to run away from daily stereotypes and stress.
How is it possible, that absolute strangers can so easily get into a conversation in such an environment compared to the interaction on the street?
People are social beings. Everybody has a big need for sharing and communicating, whether with an individual or within a group. Global society is under a massive influence from propaganda, advertisement and media. We are being imposed to liberal type of thinking. In the past thirty years, people have gathered a feeling they can think, say and do whatever they want. But it’s just an illusion. Main reason for this phenomena is an intention of atomization of human society, creation of communication difficulties and an limitation of options for capable opposition towards official ruling force. One of the unconscious reactions of people is a participation at mass-gathering music events, including free and informal communication. Human subconsciousness is stronger than any social system. Subconscious frustration from an alienation is a driving force for „safe“ independent chat with a total stranger. Nothing is promised and we don’t expect anything. We follow our intuition and a feeling of sympathy. We go for it, no matter what the result will be. At the same time we have an option to leave and end the conversation without any consequences.